Spain reading: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Hola! The Kitten is back from vacation, with much to report. We begin with the novel I read on the trip, of course!

The Shadow of the Wind is a fabulous read! Considering I got stricken for a day and a half with a severe travel bug, the novel was also a lifesaver. Diverted me from my illness.

I’m not much of a reviewer (I say, why not read the book?), but to sum up, this is a Gothic/mystery/love story all rolled up into one twisting, turning tale. The hero is Daniel Sempere, whom we meet as a young boy in post-Civil War Barcelona. His father introduces Daniel to a mysterious bookstore called The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, where the boy chooses a book called The Shadow of the Wind. Daniel loses himself in the novel and becomes caught up in learning more about its mysterious author, Julian Carax. Ruiz Zafon takes us through Daniel’s intriguing journey and rites of passage.

If the plot doesn’t grab you, first check your pulse for vital signs. Then simply enjoy the characters, which are some of the most memorable and vividly drawn that I’ve read in modern literature. Daniel is a sympathetic, intelligent and interesting hero to follow, and all sorts of interesting, shadowy and complex figures crop up throughout Daniel’s adventure. Most interesting to me is Fermin Romero de Torres, who plays a sort of Pancho Villa. He’s a brilliantly realized, unique character.

As an added bonus, the book included a walking tour of Barcelona!

Thanks to Stefanie for the reading suggestion! You don’t have to go to Spain to enjoy this one…

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12 Responses to Spain reading: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

  1. Andi says:

    Wheee! Glad you enjoyed it. It is quite a ride, eh?


  2. stefanie says:

    Welcome back! Sounds like you had a nice time. I am glad you enjoyed the book!


  3. i totally want to read this one.


  4. Charlotte says:

    Great book. I loved it too. Now, more about Spain please?


  5. verbivore says:

    Welcome back…the idea of a Cemetery of Forgotten Books is enough to get me interested. Sounds wonderful!


  6. Dorothy W. says:

    Oh, sorry you got sick! But glad you had a great book along … welcome back.


  7. It’s good to have you back! I really need to read this book. I meant to get to it this year, but it never happened. Thanks for the great review, and the reminder that I need to pick it up and read it.


  8. Eloise says:

    Sounds like a really interesting book. Hope you had a great holiday.


  9. snackywombat says:

    oh this sounds really interesting. i haven’t read any spanish novelists in a very long time, since i studied there in college! hope u had fun.


  10. Melanie says:

    Good thing you had such a marvellous book with you for those ill days. I was utterly absorbed by this book and had to read it all at once.Hope the rest of the trip was wonderful, and you enjoyed your time in Spain.


  11. Ex Libris says:

    I loved this book, too! Glad you enjoyed it. Sorry to hear you were ill – that’s no fun, especially on vacation. Hope the remainder of your trip went well.


  12. J.S. Peytons says:

    Diddo what every else said about how wonderful this book is. I LOVED this book. Three years later, I’m still looking for another English translation of one of his books. I’ve wanted to go to Spain ever since. I’m glad you had a wonderful time, despite getting sick!


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